If your business relies on distribution, you may have a significant fleet on hand in order to get your products to that all-important marketplace. If you're in charge of managing that fleet you've got a lot on your plate, as you have to make sure that each vehicle is well maintained, safe and reliable if the business is to meet its revenue potential. As you know, a proactive maintenance schedule is essential and you may be placing your focus on engines and transmissions, so that your major components are covered. However, did you know that you can make significant gains if the wheel alignment on each truck is considered? What do you need to think about here?
Why Alignment Is Critical
Of course, wheel alignment is important from a safety perspective, but if it is only slightly askew it's going to have a significant effect on the overall fuel efficiency of each truck. You will also find that steering, brakes and suspension are put under additional pressure when they need not be and this can lead to failure.
When wheel alignment is correct, the tyres will wear more evenly across the entire vehicle, no matter how many axles are involved and will last longer, leading to a reduction in replacement costs. If you've been noticing unusual wear patterns on your vehicles you should know that if you check the "toe in" angles on the vehicle and make sure that the internal air pressure is maintained, then you can virtually eliminate that issue.
It's Going to Happen
Even though the road system in Australia is generally good, there are many potential obstacles along the way and these irregularities can really do a number on your wheel alignment. Even if the driver doesn't actually hit something, alignment will stray from the straight and narrow unless you are proactive about its maintenance.
Ask for Feedback
Ask the driver of each truck to give you feedback if they notice that the vehicle is pulling to one side when they are driving it, or if the steering wheel appears to be slightly off centre when they are going down the road in a straight line. These are signs of alignment failure and should be rectified as soon as possible.
While you have to focus on a proactive policy for general vehicle maintenance, make sure that you prioritise wheel alignment as part of your plan if you're going to return as much profit per truck as possible.